When you look back at how work was done a decade ago, the processes are almost unrecognizable. Thanks to new disruptive technologies, companies in every industry have had to change the way they function. Employers have had to reconsider what types of jobs they need to fill. As a result, many traditional roles no longer exist.
This has led many employees to worry about the future of their careers. In fact, a 2018 Jobvite report found that 22 percent of job seekers worry their job will be obsolete in 5 years. That’s up from 15 percent just a year ago.
For job seekers, this adds another stress to the already challenging job hunt. Not only do you need to worry about whether a job is right for you, but also if it will still exist in a few years. Since employers won’t list the shelf life of a position in the job description, you need to be able to judge this for yourself.
Here are three ways to determine if a new position has job security:
1. Look at the language of the job description
The job listing is your first insight into what a position will entail. It tells you what skills are necessary as well as some of the typical daily tasks. However, it also shows what the future holds for the job. If the description lists outdated skills or uses stale language, it’s not a good sign.
Review every job description with a critical eye. You want a position that requires your latest and best skills, not abilities you’ve had for years. This will ensure the job will continue to challenge you. However, if the description only asks for experience with outdated technology like Microsoft Office, don’t expect much job security.
Also, pay attention to the connotation and tone of the words throughout the description. They are a reflection of how much the organization values the role. If they do not use new or detailed language to describe the position, they likely don’t see it as a long-term integral position. It’s a job they need to fill at the moment, but they don’t care enough to use more than the basics to describe it.
2. Consider what types of companies have similar roles
Nowadays, innovative and agile companies are redefining how we do business. These organizations need to run lean, which means getting rid of unnecessary or outdated positions. They either reassign the responsibilities to other employees or automate them.
While there are only a handful of companies who are on the cutting edge of their industry, what they do spreads throughout the field. Eventually, other organizations learn that they can get by without certain positions. Before you know it, no one is employing people in that role.
Avoid this situation but staying ahead of the curve and seeing what types of positions innovative companies are looking for. Even if you don’t want to work at a startup, knowing what they’re looking for will help you see if a similar job at another company will be around for long.
3. Think about the longevity of the career path
Few people hold the same job their entire lives -- they grow into new positions as they acquire more experience. So as long as your career path is relevant, it doesn’t matter if your current job will be outdated in a few years.
Many job seekers are beginning to understand the importance of having a strong career path rather than a long-term role. In fact, the aforementioned Jobvite survey found 13 percent of younger employees left their job because of a lack of career development. They realize that no matter what job you have, it won’t matter if your company doesn’t support your professional growth.
Always consider this when looking for a new job. Ask yourself, will this organization prepare me for what’s coming next? Inquire about their training programs and what skills they're teaching their employees. If they are focusing on relevant skills, then you can be confident that there will always be a role you can succeed in with their company.